Russian Standard moves to Whyte & Mackay

Russian Standard is to be distributed in the UK by Whyte & Mackay after four years with First Drinks Brands.

The vodka’s new arrangements will come into force on January 1 and follow “a comprehensive selection process”.

Jonathan Stordy, chief executive at Russian Standard International, said: “We have been very encouraged by the significant interest shown by prospective distributors following our decision to change distributors and it has been a thorough and rigorous selection process.

“The distribution arrangement we have agreed with Whyte & Mackay offers us an exciting chance to manage our brand more closely in the UK market and we look forward to working alongside our new partners at Whyte & Mackay.

“We would like to thank First Drinks Brands for a very successful four years distributing our brand. It was a difficult decision to change distributors but the opportunity to take greater control of our route to market in the UK, in partnership with Whyte & Mackay is extremely attractive.”

Whyte & Mackay chief executive John Beard said: “Russian Standard has bucked the UK trend, consistently investing behind the consumer, and with 2012 brand investment above £10 million we are confident we can build on the strong platform already created. This marks an exciting new chapter for both companies.”

First Drinks Brands said it was “actively pursuing other opportunities with a view to finding a new vodka” for its portfolio.